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California Releases Guidance on its Newly Enacted Pass-Through Entity Tax (PTE)

The California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) issued guidance about the newly enacted elective pass-through entity tax (PTE) effective January 1, 2021, to January 1, 2026. [see A.B. 150(2021)] The FTB discusses how certain qualifying PTEs may annually elect to pay this entity-level state tax on income. In return, qualifying taxpayers receive credit for their share of the entity-level, ultimately reducing their California personal income tax.

Who Qualifies?

A “qualified taxpayer” can be individuals, fiduciaries, estates, or trusts subject to California personal income tax and must be a partner, member, or shareholder of a qualified electing entity. Note that a taxpayer must approve of having their pro-rate share of the qualified income of the electing qualified PTE.

PTE Election

A qualified taxpayer can make an annual election on a timely filed tax return. However, once the election is made, it is irrevocable for that year and is binding on all PTE partners, shareholders, and members.

For the 2021 tax year, the election must be made when the tax return is filed. Beginning January 1, 2022, and before January 1, 2025, the qualifying taxpayer must make the election when the tax return for the taxable year is filed and remit payment by June 15th. Otherwise, the qualifying taxpayer cannot make the PTE election.

Due Dates

The elective tax must be paid by the due date of the original tax return. However, for the 2022 to 2025 tax years, the first payment of $1,000 or 50% of the elective tax paid in the prior taxable year, whichever is greater, is due by June 15th of the taxable year of the election. The remaining amount must be paid by the due date of the original return without regard to extensions.

PTE Calculation

Each qualified shareholder’s distributive share of income subject to California personal income tax is subject to tax at 9.3%. Please note that some of California’s personal income tax brackets are lower and some are higher than the PTE rate. As such, some taxpayers may be over-paid and others under-paid as a result of making a PTE election. Please note that overpayments resulting from a PTE election are not refundable – taxpayers who are overpaid as a result of a PTE election may carryforward the unused credit for five (5) years.

Contact us if you would like to gain further insight on the Pass Through Entity Tax and how you may benefit.

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